The Labour party organisation in South Tipperary is celebrating Cllr Denis Landy’s election to the Seanad this week, but for former Fianna Fail Minister of State Martin Mansergh the election marks the end of his political career.
South Tipperary has two representatives in the new Seanad following the election with long time Fianna Fail Senator Labhras O’Murchu from Cashel regaining his seat on the Cultural and Educational Panel.
Martin Mansergh, one of a large number of high profile Fianna Fail figures to lose his Dail seat in the general election in February, polled very poorly in the Seanad race. He secured just nine votes in the Agricultural Panel contest.
He said it was unlikely he would contest a Dail or Seanad election again though he does hope to continue to make some contribution to public life and to continue to be supportive of the Fianna Fail party locally. He also plans to write a book about his 36 years experiences in public service as an adviser to three Taoisigh, including his involvement in the Northern Ireland Peace Process and his terms as a Senator, TD and minister of state.
He told The Nationalist he was quite philosophical about his defeat. He felt he fell between two stools in the election, in that he wasn’t included on Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin’s list of candidates recommended to councillors and Oireachtas members and he wasn’t an outgoing senator.
“I enjoyed the Seanad election campaign and and going around the country talking to the councillors. To be honest, I don’t take the low vote as a mark of my standing with them and I am not taking it too personally. I would have liked to have seen an ex-minister or minister of state in the team of 14 Fianna Fail members elected to the Seanad.
“When Mary O’Rourke, who had been deputy leader of the party, was Seanad leader between 2002 and 2007, she added a great deal to the term. I put myself forward, not with any confidence that I would be elected, but simply that the choice would be there. If I hadn’t put myself forward I would be forever wondering how I would have done.”
He said while he was obviously disappointed with his own performance in the election, he was very glad that Labhras O’Murchu was re-elected as it means Fianna Fail now has one South Tipperary representative in the Oireachtas.
Joining the Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann Director General in the Seanad will be Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Denis Landy, who secured a seat in the Seanad’s Administrative Panel contest.
Cllr Landy, who is a member of both Carrick-on-Suir Town Council and South Tipperary Co. Council, was nominated to contest the election by the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland.